1 Earth Composting – Hampden

Katie and Matt Saunders stand with their young on in front of compost pileKatie Saunders, NP-C, is a primary care provider (or family nurse practitioner) and an environmental activist. Her husband, Matt Saunders, was a professional chef for over 20 years and is now a stay-at-home dad to their 3 children.  Their backgrounds in farming, food, and environmental activism led them to start 1 Earth Composting, a residential and commercial composting business offering subscriptions for curbside pickups of compostable materials.  They found that sweet spot within their vocations and passions!


Matt Saunders of 1 Earth Composting with arm inside compost bucket

Recognizing knowledge gaps in pursuit of their passion, Katie & Matt approached the Maine SBDC for help. They were connected with Maine SBDC at CEI Associate Center Director and Business Advisor Alison Lane, who helped them polish their business plan, prepare financial projections, set up their ownership structure, and time their phased approach.  They also dug into finding funding, conducting market research, and creating a website. Katie and Matt had a lot of good ideas and understood their general trajectory but appreciated having Ali to provide feedback and support along the way. When it came time to launch, Ali suggested they put out a press release and helped facilitate that process, which greatly increased their visibility right from the get-go!

L1 Earth Composting compost bucket pyramidong term, the Saunders are working on purchasing property to expand services to restaurants, businesses, and municipalities. They aim to get food waste (kitchen scraps) out of the landfill and recycle them back into the soil to help reduce the worst impacts of climate change. They also hope to offer educational events in the future.

Matt commented: “We are making a difference! This is something that we are passionate about and really matters! It’s fun to meet people in the community when they connect us to the business. It’s very satisfying to know we are working to help our own community tackle climate change/waste. [The Maine SBDC] is a great resource that can help your small business succeed and get off the ground!

Saunders children helping carry compost bucket for 1 Earth Composting

Currently, they are providing residential pick-up services in Bangor, Brewer, and Hampden, with plans to expand further by working with restaurants, events, municipalities, and schools. To stay updated on their growth or to learn more about this new Maine small business check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook pages!